Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making hassle-free posters in Microsoft Office Publisher

I once took part in a poster competition (for the first time though) at college. Now, a person like me would obviously not like to take up paints and stuff again, because I am tired of improving upon my drawing skills. But, creative people have their own solutions, and thus I found Microsoft Office Publisher. 

Publisher is a DTP (Desktop Publishing) software included in Microsoft Office suite since 2003. It helps you to make posters, banners, cards, websites, envelopes, flyers without any complications. It is similar to making a PowerPoint presentation, just drag and drop, and organize. You are done!

So, let's take a look at the first screen.

But, before moving to posters, lets see what kind of paper sizes are available in the market. I generally prefer the A series of papers as it's easy to find them here. The measurements are given below:

Well, for your reference, I made a poster on Moon-bounce communication (click here for details), which was related to my Electronic Communication subject. Also, I used a few images from Wikipedia, which you'll notice when you read the details. The paper size was A1 in my case (pretty big).

Getting Started

After researching on your topic and finding out relevant photographs for the same, we can start with software. The GIF animation is self explanatory, and the tools indicated are similar to PowerPoint.

Now, let me show you my poster :) This is an original size poster here.

This is the original poster that I presented, for which I got the 2nd prize with the friends (Vivek, Darshan and Rathang) who are listed here in the poster. 

You can find the printer-friendly image of the above poster at:

Please not that prints should be taken from a reliable banner printing firm, so as not to spoil the final appearance of the poster. You can use flex banner prints if the print result is satisfactory and the poster needs to be used for outdoor purposes.

You can see that:
  • The two antennas are taken from Wikipedia.
  • The wave path is shown by writing too many ")" in a single text box and rotating it.
  • using a black background to cover up for the night photograph of the Earth. The actual photo was smaller, so I used a black background to simulate space ;) That was a tweak suggested by a friend who is good at graphics.
  • The yellow area is actually made using a rectangle, the 2 warning symbols and text from a Ham radio book. It was all overlapped and grouped. This would prevent the alignment to mess up if page size or the yellow area size has to be changed. E.g.: I was planning to make an A0 poster, but due to costs, it was cut down to A1, and it messed everything up. It took one day extra to align everything up. :P
  • The images are taken from Google, and I sincerely regret to the owners of the images that I couldn't put in the credits. I hope you guys will accept my apologies!
I hope you guys will surely come out with newer pieces of art (well, it is art! :) or at least a skill if only you can do it ) with this DTP software. For a slight boost, I would like to take a look at this certificate also, which I designed for a college workshop. The paper used was A4 photo paper. Sorry for the SPECIMEN label, but this certificate needs to be void before displaying it here. Also, the certificate is void till not signed by the respective faculty.